If you go
What: Mountain State Art & Craft Fair
When: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Saturday
Where: Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley
Admission: $6 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 12, free for children under 5
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The idea came as part of the state's centennial celebration in 1963 and its goal was to develop an event to showcase the best of West Virginia — a phrase now part of the state's tourism vernacular.
At the time, though, it was used as a mission statement for an art and craft fair with an education component.
"It was really only intended to be a one-time event," said Bob Wines, a longtime board member for the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair. "But it just kind of continued to build. I think they had 6,500 folks there that first year. They had less than a $10,000 budget, and to be honest, they didn't even raise enough money to pay for the event — there was a deficit."
The idea was so popular with visitors that the organizers — from state agencies such as the departments of agriculture, commerce and education, the state Art & Craft Guild, the Cedar Lakes camp facility and more — decided to continue it.